Monday, February 28, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
On the one hand, I'm researching and working on writing my fencing master's thesis. That's a lot of reading. And a lot of writing. Teaching classes, and otherwise focusing and refocusing on the whole fencing thing. Writing for the new blog. Working on my own training. It's good.
On the other hand, I'm excited about going to EMS Today. Enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn some stuff, get some decent training, and network. Making preparations for applying to the local ambulance company, where I've wanted to work since my first ride along. Looking forward to getting more into the whole EMS thing once I get my youngest a little older, so I can work long hours without feeling like I'm being negligent.
Seems like two totally separate things, pulling me in different directions.
But it isn't.
There is a lot of overlap.
One big area of overlap is something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
It's more than just "customer service."
Something fencing and EMS have in common in a HUGE way is the necessity to be able to create rapport. To connect with the student/patient in a very personal, immediate way, without distracting from the technical things you must also be able to do.
Knowing how to get my student to focus where I want him/her to focus, and to stay connected with me, is a HUGE help in being able to help my patient focus where he/she needs to focus, whether it's on something like his/her breathing rate, or something- anything- other than what is happening around him/her in a crisis.
Being able to give a technical lesson, and perform the skills I need to perform, while giving constant verbal and non-verbal feedback to my student, is a huge help in being able to treat my patient AND keep communicating.
Knowing how to use my voice to keep my student focused is very much like using my voice to calm my patient.
Maybe my personality isn't as split as I thought.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
My daughter has lived with us EMTs a few years now, and is reaching the age where she can take the class and join us. She has been riding with the rescue for the last year and a half, and has been very helpful there, fetching and carrying, etc. Now that she is getting ready to become certified herself, she has started paying more attention to the patient care.
We typically use the time on the way to the scene to go over our plans on arrival, and to remind ourselves of any pertinent information we may have about a patient's medical conditions, or any special needs. If appropriate, we review any intervention we might need, etc. Sometimes, we are close to the scene and don't have a lot of time. Sometimes, there isn't anything in particular that we need to review.
The other day, we were on our way to a reported accident with no injuries, expected to be a sign-off. The proverbial "wants to be checked out." It happened that the call was on the far end of town, so we would have a longer drive than usual. Plenty of time to go over whatever we wanted to go over, but little that we really needed to review for that particular situation. Basics. Scene safety. BSI.
But because my daughter was with us, and had been talking about starting her EMT class, I decided to go over trauma assessment. From the beginning. By the numbers. In addition to scene safety and BSI, mechanism of injury, number of patients, need for resources, spinal stabilization, general impression, level of consciousness and etc, on down the line. An excellent exercise, one found around the house every day. Literally, at our house, but I digress...
We arrived on scene to what turned out to be a two car accident.
We all know how accurate dispatch can be.
But true to what we had been told, there were no real injuries, just a little redness from an airbag. No problem. It's all good. Just hanging out, waiting for the wrecker. A relatively pleasant call, albeit in unpleasant weather.
Ever have one of those days where suddenly, everything changes?
Not far up the road, a sudden collision (is there any other kind?).
As in "What is that in the road? How did it get there? It doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before. Oh, shit. That must be a car."
Called for more resources.
Good thing trauma assessment was so fresh in our minds.
I had never seen a car in that condition before. It was literally ripped apart.
I was sure there would be fatalities.
It was nothing short of a miracle.
Great teamwork all around.
Patients extricated and packaged in an unbelievably short amount of time.
And my daughter?
An impeccable job, staging gear and assisting us.
Kept her head in a very stressful situation.
She's going to be a great EMT.
I'm sure of it.